Abraham A. WEMPLE

Male 1814 - 1896  (82 years)


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  • Name Abraham A. WEMPLE 
    Born 12 Feb 1814  Canajoharie, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 13 Aug 1896  Wampsville, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I556  Wemple Family Ancestry
    Last Modified 13 Dec 2017 

    Father Abraham A. WEMPLE,   b. 06 Jun 1775, Montgomery County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Mar 1814, Canajoharie, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Mother Maria LOUCKS,   b. 01 Jan 1781, Palatine, Montgomery County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jan 1848, Troy, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Married Abt 1806 
    Family ID F151  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Sabine AVERY,   b. 07 Apr 1813, Schenctady, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 07 Jul 1897, Wampsville, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Married 15 Jan 1835  probably Troy, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Selinda Louisa WEMPLE,   b. 29 Oct 1835, Schenectady, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Feb 1838, Troy, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 2 years)
     2. Mary Amanda WEMPLE,   b. 02 Jun 1838, Resselaer, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Apr 1918, Schenectady, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     3. Selinda Allen WEMPLE,   b. 07 Oct 1840, Troy, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Dec 1840, Troy, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     4. Henry Allen WEMPLE,   b. 22 Oct 1842, Troy, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jan 1847  (Age 4 years)
     5. Nelson Millard WEMPLE,   b. 03 Aug 1846, Resselaer, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Aug 1914, Albany, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     6. Harriet Allen WEMPLE,   b. 04 May 1849, Schenectady, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Oct 1877  (Age 28 years)
     7. Lyman Avery WEMPLE,   b. 03 Feb 1854, Resselaer, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Apr 1939, Morehead City, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
    Last Modified 13 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F740  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • The following is from an unpublished manuscript, written by William Barent Wemple II, compiler of the first part if this genealogy from 1885-1913, sent to the compiler on September 28, 2000 by Michael Lee Wemple of Bay City, MI.

      He was born in Canajoharie, NY, February 12, 1814; married, in Schenectady, Mary Sabine Avery, January 15, 1835; died in Wampsville, NY, August 13m 1896; his wife resides with her son Lyman A. (Wemple) in Wampsville, NY.

      In response to a request made by the compiler for a personal sketch of his life, he furnished the one which follows, on June 13, 1894, every word of which was written by himself in a beautiful, strong hand writing, which would have done great credit to a person one half his age. He was a charming correspondent and the compiler had many delightful letters from him. He had always taken a deep interest in his family history, therefore, on this account and his age he was most valuable in clearing up many vague points regarding his branch. The compiler was indeed fortunate and favored in knowing him through correspondence and regrets exceedingly the obstacles that prevented making a personal acquaintance.

      As regards a history of myself, I have to say that perhaps forty years ago I commenced to write a history of myself, beginning with my birth and following along the lines of childhood and youth to early manhood, and the events or incidents occurring not omitting my marriage to Mary S. Avery, my present wife, January 15, 1835. The record alluded to covers several years after my marriage but at present, I cannot lay my hand upon the document but may in a few day. That history is a reminder to me of events in early boyhood and youth while with my widowed mother, to whom I was lovingly attached and sought to make her life joyous by rendering such aid in our as was in my power. These efforts to aid my mother are now a perpetual benison to me and therefore bright spots in my life. When my mother came to reside with me in 1845 or a little before, she found a home indeed till she died in 1847. Her memory is cherished. The mother of my wife - a widow also - became an inmate of my house also and lived with us till death and then her remains were borne to Wampsville and laid by the side of her husband, John Avery.

      Now, it occurs to me that if I can furnish you a history dating from my marriage it will give you something of an idea of my manner of life for the past 60 years. My marriage opened or suggested a phase of life which has afforded my much delight.

      However, the beginning of my wedded life was being employed in a store, groceries, etc., not omitting intoxicating liquors, but by an express agreement with my employers, I had nothing to do with waiting on customers calling for liquor, such callers were referred to a son of one of the proprietors. I have no doubt it seemed rather odd to imbibers of the intoxicant that a clerk standing in front of the bottles, declined to pass the same to them. but such was the case. My abhorrence of the traffic was deep-seated and I will here say that I have not lost my detestation of the cause of the most of the distress in the world. Further on I will tell you of my efforts to influence humanity to desist from the use of intoxicants.

      Well, my clerkship became so distasteful that I left the store altogether. I needed the pittance of a salary of $250.00 a year with which to support my wife. I was out of employment two months. In the middle of September, 1835, an old friend and a resident with my mother and self in the same building, a few years previous but then a resident of Troy and in charge of shipping for a large transportation company, wrote to me to come to Troy. I went at once and found he had a place for me. I at once entered upon the particular duties - that of tallyman and any other service that tended to aid my employers. I remained at Troy until navigation closed, receiving of my services $50.00 per month, a sum my employers did not demur to. Before I left Troy to return to Schenectady and my wife, the latter was delivered of a girl baby. My employers, G. P. Griffith & Company, engaged me for the next season, 1836, at a compensation of $400.00; such salaries at that time were considered quite large.

      I will go back a few years to 1832, which was the year, and the distress it occasioned. In October of that year I was converted - for which I have ever expressed gratitude to my Redeemer - and united with the Baptist church, having been baptized in the Mohawk river by the Reverand A. D. Gillette, our pastor. This change in life opened to me new views and new experiences. These views and experiences borne by me to Troy, induced me to seek affiliation and association with the First Baptist Church in Troy, then under the pastorate of the Reverand Benjamin M. Hill, a noble Christian and man. He was a councillor indeed, to who I attached myself as with hooks of steel during my two months stay in Troy. After navigation of 1835 closed I returned to Schenectady and engaged in such pursuits as availed to help my wife, baby and myself through the winter. I also devoted the time usually occupied by the church, in service thereof. A little before the opening of navigation in 1836, I went to Troy to fill the position for which I was employed. I took my wife and baby with me and went to board with Mr. Leonard Crocker and family, the superintendent of the company by whom I was employed. During 1836 I endeavored to make myself useful to the company, and leisure time, when the opportunities favored, devoted to church service. The winter of 1835 & 6 was of service to Mr. Crocker, he becoming a converted man and a decided Christian. Sunday previous to the opening of navigation in 1836 was about as much a working day on the docks as other days. The conversion of Mr. Crocker had the good effect of stopping Sunday work. Instead of work, a bethel meeting was held under our dock sheds where seats were provided for the dock forces and others. These services were well attended and continued through the season, when the weather permitted and had the effect to cause a discontinuance of Sunday work during the years of my employment on the docks, which ended with 1847. At the close of 1847 I declined to re-engage to my employers and also decided the offer of $1000.00 for the season of 1847 by a neighboring transportation company. At the close of 1847 business life presented a new phase.

      Mr. Crocker our superintendent informed Messrs. G. P. Griffith & Company of his purpose to discontinue service with them and move to Buffalo. Of this change I was not made aware until after navigation closed. At this time Mr. Crocker informed me of his purpose and, I think, it was Mr. Crocker (who) informed me that Messrs. G. P. Griffith & Company wished me to fill Mr. Crocker's place and also to continue in the position of tallyman. I hesitated to undertake the responsibility of the two positions, but insistence to comply was enforced by the offer of $800.00 for the season.

      Well, I consented to assume the two positions. I returned to Schenectady to remain thro' the winter of 1836 and in the spring of 1837 returned to Troy, taking wife and little daughter with me and began house keeping in a very moderate way but happy in the little humble home but was made desolate ere the year ended by the death of the little daughter Selinda at the age of 2 years and 4 months.

      As we had become residents of Troy, it accorded with my mind to identify myself with interests congenial to my Christian sentiments. This condition of mind brought me to the church and Sunday-school and afforded me great delight. My position in the company opened up to me new soures of pleasure; business naturally led me to business houses and friendships were formed with businessmen of high standing. These friendships were my delight in succeeding years. I interested myself in organizations intended for the betterment of men. The Firemenn's Division of the Sons of Temperance was a favorite organization. The office of secretary afforded me pleasure and not infrequently my lot was to officiate on the introduction of new members.

      My close friendship with the church and its pastor, Mr. Hill, led me to ask for a letter of dismission from the church in Schenectady to unite with the church in Troy, which was done in the winter of 1837 & 8.

      Now I had become a resident of Troy. I gave time to promote her interests as abilities and age availed. In 1843 I was elected Alderman of the 5th ward, having been elected by Democrats and Republicans dissatisfied with the nominations of the candidates of their respective parties. Of the Board of Alderman in that year, I believe but two yet live, viz., Russell Sage of New York, and the writer. A phase of life at that distance from the present, fifty-one years, still clings to me - it was, and is, decided opposition to the principle of licence to pursue a business KNOWN to be detrimental to the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of humanity. At the time of my Aldermanship, the Board alone was the authority to grant licenses. Whenever an application was presented and motion to grant was called, I did not fail of a negative, which gave offence, but I could not conscientiously vote for a wrong.

      This same year, 1843, fifty members of the First Baptist Church obtained letters of dismission for the purpose of forming a new Baptist Church which latter service was accomplished on the 23rd of June of that year, 1843. At the constitution of the church, I was elected clerk and continued in the office till December 1847.

      A little history, at the latter date, is evidence of an over-ruling Providence. At the close of navigation of 1847, my then employers, Messrs Ide, Coit & Company, they having become the successors of G. P. Griffith & Company, made application to me to continue in their employ; I was also sought by James H. Hoske to enter his employ but to neither gave assent, why, I did not know, but one evening just at the close of a prayer meeting, a brother informed me that a person in vestibule wished to see me. I answered the call and was informed the Mr. L. R. Sargent, Superintendent of the Schenectady & Troy R.R., wished to see me. I went with the messenger to the Troy House, where I met Mr. S. and was asked by him how I would like to go to Schenectady? I asked for the cause. He replied, to take charge of the road at that place. I said, I will go and ready at once. We went to the Bank of Troy to see John Paine, the president of the road, the preliminaries were settled and I at once prepared to leave Troy for Schenectady. Here, I recognize Providence. The Baptist Chruch in Schenectady occupied a warm spot in my heart and this unexpected opening is again associate with that body made me very happy indeed for I was well aware of the poverty of that body and thought the opportunity for rendering such aid as was in my power would give me joy. My separation from the church formed in 1843 was regretted by the church and efforts were instituted to change my mind, but I said to the church, I have consented to go and I cannot withhold, although a tempting offer was made in a lucrative business.

      I went to Schenectady and at the first meeting - a meeting of prayer - I said to the meeting, Now know I that the Lord has blessed me for your sakes. (Gen. 3 chap., part of 23rd verse). I had no recollection of ever having read the sentence but I uttered it, nevertheless. Now that I had returned to the city of my early residence and the church of my choice, I gave heed, as I was able, to her needs and care. One of the greatest of her needs was a house of worship. In her earlier years she lost her house from poverty. In 1851 a vacant lot, part of an estate, located on Union Street, a street in the center of the city leading to Union College, was to be sold at auction. I attended and on my personal responsibility, bid for it. At the time of bidding I was accosted by Judge Platt Potter to know my purpose in bidding. I said to the Judge, I am bidding in the interest of the church. He said, I bid no more. The lot with other real state was bought for $700.00. I have ever entertained great respect for his readiness to give way for a noble purpose. At once we set about preparation for building a house of worship. This, of course, taxed our energies and our pockets, as it did also the pockets of our friends. When the trenches were dug for the foundation and the masons were ready to lay the foundation (by previous arrangement with the boss-mason) I went for a colored sister, the contribution of the first dollar. I have her return with me to the yard, having informed her of my purpose, the boss led her way down into the trench on there with strong arms and weeping eyes, Mrs. Wendell laid the first stone, a corner stone indeed, in the foundation. But three persons, other than the Masons, witnessed the ceremony. In 1852 the basement of the house (of worship) was occupied by the church with great joy. Now we had a domicile for ourselves and all others desirous to mingle with us.

      My stay in Schenectady continued till the late Autumn of 1853 when the consolidation of the roads forming the New York Central R.R. was accomplished. This latter act closed my office and I returned to Troy to take charge of the freight business. In 1855 I was called to Albany and informed that my services were desired to take charge of the freight business. I consented, the president, Erastus Corning and general Superintendent Chauncey Vibberd fixing my salary at $1200,00. I arranged to go at once on my return home (Troy). I bethought myself of a matter not Broached on my visit at first, and at once I wrote General Superintendent a note saying, if Sunday work was expected of me, I must decline the position. An answer was speedily returned, favoring me freedom from Sunday services of the ordinary kind. This decision led to freedom of our men for Sunday, except watchmen.

      During my connection with the freight department I was not interfered with by any in authority, but at once, there was an Assistant Superintendent coming to me and ordering a force of men for the following Sunday to unload cars. I informed the Assistant Superintendent that I should not order men to work on the morrow. He stamped and said, Well, we will see about it. Whether he did or not see about it, I never heard any complaint of my decision. Mr. Corning was a good friend; I never appealed for an increase of salary, He and his subordinated had abundant knowledge of the necessities of the service and the first increase was $300.00; total 1500.00; the next, an additional $500.00, total $2000.00 per annum. In 1866 &7 I left the road and came to Wampsville, purchased a dwelling and took up our residence. The first or second year of living in Wampsville, I was informed by letter from Charles B. Redfield of his wish to have me go to New York City and take charge of his barge-tow at a salary of $2500.00. I did not wish to reject the offer. I went the following spring. After a stay in New York City till the first of July, I was invited by Dean Richmond, then the president of New York Central R. R., to visit him at the St. Nicholas. I went and saw Mr. Richmond, and was informed by him of his wish to have my return to Albany and resume the care of the freight business of a salary of $2500.00. I informed Mr. Richmond of my relationship to Mr. Redfield. He says, We will fix that. On this condition I consented to go and did go, displacing the two men appointed after I left a year or two previous. I had from the first objected to an assistant; one was enough.

      I remained with the company about two years, at which I began to experience the effect of overtaxing and resigned. Since that time, now about 28 years, I have been engaged in business - groceries,coal, lumber and postmaster. In 1874 I was taken sick and confined to my bed by rheumatism and other ills and a council of physicians decided that I could not live. I did not believe the decision to be true, at least the time, a year, fixed the the principal physician. I feel at this time of my life, 80 years, competent for my business of 30 years ago, but sight and inability to get about, hinder me from active service.

      I went to Canastota right after leaving Albany the second time and engaged in the coal and lumber business. While in Canastota I labored in the Baptist Church, doing what I could.

      I must not omit to say, while a resident in Albany I was a member of the Board of Alderman, also a member of the Board of Supervisors, and very happily identified with George Dawson in the Tabernacle Baptist Church, of which he was a useful and much honored member. His duties in the editorial department of the Evening Journal were never allowed by him to detract from his service in the church and Sunday-school.

      A LITTLE incident and yet NOT a little incident occurred the first season of my Troy occupation. I was much tried and tempted, my associations and surroundings were not always of such character (that) I, a young Christian, needed for association. On one occasion, riding alone in a buggy from Troy to Schenectady I prayed earnestly to my Father, God, that if it would be consistent, I would be glad to have Him open up for me a source which would free me from (the) associates of the kind surrounding me. I received an answer to my prayer which silenced all complaints of evil surroundings. The answer was this, and it was as distinct as I give it to you, I have you where it pleaseth me. The prayer and answer, made nearly 60 years ago, are fresh in memory. For the past four years and a half I have not been physically able to go up the hill to our Presbyterian sanctuary but absence from private or the prayer meeting has not led to indifferences to my spiritual interests. I am hoping for attendance at the prayer meeting, Providence permitting. It was in the spring of 1893 I arranged with pastor George Nicholls that on the occasion of the meeting for prayer, if he deemed it weather suitable for me to venture; although the day bid fair for a pleasant evening the latter was not. With the present supply, I have a similar arrangement. What the future will divulge we wait to learn.

      I omitted to state, that during my last residence in Schenectady, I was a member of the Board of Alderman. While a member our city clerk and clerk of the Board died, he, Stephen S. Riggs was poor and his salary as clerk of some importance to his family. (Our) sympathies were roused and I made known to the Board that I would volunteer to fill the office during the balance of his year and attend to my duties as Alderman.


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